The Corner


Among my mail on Texas was this extraordinary prose-poem, which I thought you would like reading:

Dear Jay,

As a native Texan who returned here years ago after living in New York, I took a special interest in what you said. New York is still my favorite city and I often pine for it, but Texas is my favorite state, by far, and its people are simply wonderful. (Manhattanites are wonderful too, once you get beneath the defensive veneer.)

The diversity of the Texas geography never ceases to amaze me, and it is something most people who have never spent much time here seldom appreciate. Just 30 minutes or so west of where you visited, Midland-Odessa, for example, lie the Monahans Sand Hills, nearly 4,000 acres of sand dunes where one could imagine being lost in the Sahara.

Most people think that Texas is monotonously flat, yet it has seven large mountain ranges, with many peaks nearly 10,000 feet high, spectacular canyons, and a unique hill country that stretches from just southwest of Dallas to San Antonio. I have lain on my back in a hammock late at night outside a limestone cabin on top of a remote hill overlooking the Frio River, and gazed at the huge, dense mass of the Milky Way as I had never seen it before (or since).

My wife and I lived for years in a secluded area at the northern end of that escarpment, only 19 miles from Dallas, where we were often serenaded by Texas red wolves and where we once saw a half-grown mountain lion cross the road near our house.

There is a special feeling in Texas, and I think it is an ever-present connection with its pioneer history, which always involves the Indians. I once had the privilege of writing the script for a film for the West Texas Chamber of Commerce, and I recall writing that in traveling through West Texas one often had “a spooky feeling that a Comanche war party was just beyond that rise.”

Thanks for visiting, Jay. Please come back.

Isn’t that a beautiful letter? Every state should be so lucky.